'Ask your question or please take a seat': NCMP Leong Mun Wai shut down in Parliament again

Leong Mun Wai was shut down by Ng Eng Hen while attempting to seek clarification about Mr Ng's points about National Service deferment for athletes and art talents.
PHOTO: Screengrab/YouTube

Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai is no stranger when it comes to being rebuked in Parliament. 

In March this year, he was asked to apologise and remove his Facebook posts and comments where he claimed that the Speaker of Parliament had prevented him from speaking in the House

Unfortunately, Leong seems to have ruffled the feathers of his fellow parliamentarians again on Tuesday (July 5), when he had an exuberant exchange with Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. 

During the Parliamentary session, Leong tried to seek clarification on whether the defence ministry intends to look into further relaxation of eligibility criteria for the deferment of National Service. 

However, while setting the context for his question, Leong was interrupted by Ng, who said: "I answered the question quite adequately for the member; I suggest he does not make another speech." 

After being asked to get straight to the point, Leong told the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jessica Tan that he would ask a second question, but continued to make a further point about the lack of deferments granted to sports and arts talents. 

Ng then interrupted him by saying that he "[did] not hear a clarification". 

"Mr Leong, I'm going to ask you one more time. Please ask your question otherwise please take your seat," Tan urged, adding that he seemed to be "making a lot of statements". 

The former then tried again to pose his question regarding the "fairness" of deferment laws, but was shut down by Ng who pointed out his question was "an utter mischaracterisation" of what he said earlier. 

The video of Leong's clarification in Parliament was posted on Reddit, garnering many comments from Redditors who felt that the entire exchange was hard to watch. 

"This seat should have gone to Nicole Seah. Wasted on him," remarked one Redditor. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/Reddit

Leong has also gotten into trouble previously for some of the claims he made in Parliament.

In January, Leader of the House Indranee Rajah issued Leong a stern warning after he failed to substantiate his allegations about vaccine-differentiated measures in schools. 

Last September, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam slammed Leong regarding Progress Party Singapore (PSP)'s motion on foreign talent and policy, which included the latter's stance on free trade agreements (FTAs) and the terms of the Singapore-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (Ceca).

Mr Shanmugam said: "Mr Leong's views have been so completely distorted by his lack of understanding of Ceca and his eagerness to attack Indians and Ceca. And I would say what his party and Mr Leong are doing is one of the worst types of political opportunism - using race as a bait." 

claudiatan@asiaone.com